Math Quotes VII: Problems Worthy of Attack

Time to catch up on our blackboard quotes.

Learning without thought is labor lost;
thought without learning is perilous.

Confucius

I have no particular talent, I am only inquisitive.

Albert Einstein

I advise my students to listen carefully the moment they decide to take no more mathematics courses. They might be able to hear the sound of closing doors.

— James Caballero

A mathematician’s work is mostly a tangle of guesswork, analogy, wishful thinking, and frustration. And proof, far from being the core of discovery, is more often than not a way of making sure that our minds are not playing tricks.

Gian-Carlo Rota

And one of my favorite Grooks:

Problems worthy
of attack
prove their worth
by hitting back.

Piet Hein


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2 thoughts on “Math Quotes VII: Problems Worthy of Attack

  1. That sounds like a good guess. I can’t remember where I got the quote. I have a huge notebook of quotes I have copied at various times, and unfortunately I was not always careful to jot down my source. (It was probably from the Furman University server, which says the quote came from the CAIP Quarterly, Fall, 1989.)

    When I put this post together, I did a search with Mr. Caballero’s name, but I could not find a reference for him, except for many other copies of this quote.

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